US: Chiquita narrows FY losses but shares slide
Chiquita books Q4 miss
Produce group Chiquita Brands International booked narrower losses for the full-year but saw shares slide as the fourth-quarter result missed analyst expectations.
Chiquita said its full-year net loss fell to US$16m in 2013, down from $405m in the prior year. It generated an operating income of $50m, compared to a loss of $254m in 2012. Sales in the 12 months to the end of December were $3.05bn, down slightly from $3.07bn in 2012, as the group exited non-core unprofitable business.
Chiquta attributed its improved profit performance to a renewed focus on core business - bananas and pineapple. According to Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Jonathan Feeney, it is a "sensible" strategy. "Chiquita's new focus on maximizing cash flow by targeting cost inefficiencies and re-focusing capital on the core businesses (e.g., bananas, pineapples) is a sensible strategy that continues to stand a reasonable chance of success," he wrote in an investor note.
However, Chiquita shares were down 8.12% at 16.10 (GMT) on ongoing concerns over Chiquita's leveraged financial position and after the fourth-quarter result missed expectations. Fourth-quarter EPS loss totaled $0.56, compared to consensus forecasts of a loss of $0.31.
|Chiquita Brands International, Inc: Chiquita Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results|
CHIQUITA REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2013 RESULTS
CHARLOTTE - February 27, 2014 - Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today released financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013. The company reported GAAP net loss of $16 million in 2013 compared to GAAP net loss of $405 million for the full year 2012. GAAP operating income for 2013 was $50 million compared to a loss of $254 million in 2012. The company also reported comparable operating income of $53 million for 2013 compared to comparable operating income of $7 million for 2012.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, Chiquita reported GAAP net loss of $31 million compared to GAAP net loss of $333 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. GAAP operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $17 million compared to a loss of $205 million in the same period in 2012. The company also reported comparable operating loss of $14 million in the fourth quarter of both 2013 and 2012.
"Chiquita's improved results in 2013 reflect our decision to return our focus to the core businesses, and the first full year of execution" said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita's president and chief executive officer. "Throughout the year and into the fourth quarter, we grew sales volume in both our North American banana business and our retail packaged salad business, and we continued to leverage our premium brand in the European banana market. We exited non-core, unprofitable businesses and delivered our promised SG&A and value chain efficiency initiatives in the year."
Amounts exclude certain items described below under "Non-GAAP Measurements and Items Affecting Comparability."
Lonergan continued, "While we continued to make progress against our strategic initiatives in the quarter, we did face continued headwinds from the startup of the new consolidated Midwest salads production facility, which are now largely behind us. As well, we faced certain challenges in the supply and pricing of our raw products. We faced a large oversupply of bananas in the quarter which negatively impacted the weekly trading markets globally. The market is only now moving back toward balance. In addition, in our salad business, we experienced early quarter iceberg supply shortages and late quarter oversupply of raw salad products as a result of weather across our growing regions. Despite the challenges, we made substantial progress in the year and remain on glidepath in 2014 to deliver our long term financial targets."
Original source: Chiquita Brands International
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